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Imphal, December 27, 2017: “I managed to catch a glimpse of its tail”, “I saw its shadow,” “Lucky if you spot one!”
This usual banter among tourists at the tiny Keibul Lamjao National Park (KLNP) in Manipur — the world’s only floating national park — is not about catching the Unicorn.
They are talking about the endangered and elusive Sangai or Eld’s deer — popularly known as the “dancing deer” by the locals. Celebrated for its gait, it is ubiquitous in Manipuri art, culture and folklore.
Now untreated human waste is threatening its already jeopardised survival at the park, its last remaining refuge.
Spread around 40 square kilometres, KLNP is the protected southern rim of the saucer-shaped freshwater lake, the iconic Loktak, and is about a quarter of the size of Assam’s famous Kaziranga National Park.
The swampy Loktak, originally a “wetland of wetlands” and the “lifeline” of the Manipur Valley’s people, is famous for the phumdis — the squelchy mass of vegetation, soil and organic matter bunched together and in various stages of decomposition — that has thickened to form floating meadows.
It is the largest freshwater lake in northeast India, bordering Myanmar and straddling the Barak-Chindwin river basin in the Indo-Myanmar region.
At Sendra, the highest point of the lake, about an hour-and-a-half’s drive from state capital Imphal, one gets a bird’s eye-view of the phumdis dotting the water body.
Rings of green stretching across the clear blue expanse of the lake bring to mind images of crop circles synonymous with rumours of alien visitors.
These floating meadows harbour around 260 of the animals, whose dainty gait is said to inspire Manipuri dance traditions and folklore.
Under attack from water pollution due to untreated waste, these islets have thinned down — making it tough for the deer to live on and off them.
Of the 40 square km of the national park, about 65 per cent (26 square kilometre) is covered with thick and almost contiguous mat of floating meadows.
“To support the weight of Sangai (weighing between 90 kg and 150 kg) and sustain a stable population of the deer, the phumdis needs to be at least a metre thick,” Chongpi Tuboi of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) told IANS.
Tuboi, a project scientist, in the WII’s conservation action plan for Sangai, says the phumdis that have formed recently (it may take up to 20 years for one phumdi to form) are less than a metre in thickness.
“Overall, only nine square kilometres of the total park area has the required phumdi thickness of at least one metre,” Tuboi said.
Loktak’s water woes are mainly linked to loss of vegetation cover in its catchment and construction of the Ithai Barrage in the southern part of the lake.
While poor water quality has altered the vegetation cover and composition of the phumdis and hence their potential to sustain the Sangais, the construction of the barrage in 1983 disrupted the waterbody’s natural flushing mechanism.
“The Lake was a seasonally flooded wetland with several small wetlands which used to be separated during low water levels and merged into one during the monsoon,” Tuboi explained.
After the construction of the barrage, the water level in the Lake is maintained at a regular 769.12 metres above mean sea level so as to support the hydro-power project.
The lake is, as Tuboi says, in stress due to “permanent flooding”.
This hinders the phumdis from settling down on to the water bed during the dry season and picking up nutrients and soil to maintain the desired thickness.
From 2008 to 2010, Tuboi and his colleagues Syed Ainul Hussain and Michelle Irengbam tested water samples across 11 sites of the wetland, which is fed by around 30 rivers and streams, including the heavily polluted Nambul and Nambol rivers.
The Ithai Barrage is the only outlet for this lake.
Both liquid effluents and solid wastes discharged from Imphal city are drained directly into Loktak via the Nambul river which flows through the city.
The results of the study published in journal Physics and Chemistry of the Earth in October reinforce the message that the Loktak lake is “severely polluted” due to the “influx of sewage and other wastes from the Nambul and Nambol rivers.”
In addition, surface runoff from the surrounding agricultural and catchment areas is also diminishing the lake’s water quality, as indicated by high nitrogen concentration.
The researchers recommend setting up sewage treatment plants at strategic locations, such as at the inlet channel at Toubul village, which is surrounded by the lake.
Meanwhile, Tuboi and his team have been surveying spots within the lake where a satellite population of the Sangai could be re-located.
“Sangai is the flagship species. If we save it, we save everything else. Before the fragile balance between the lake ecosystem and the local cultural practices are permanently lost, the lake needs to be restored by improving its water quality and hydrological regime,” Tuboi added. (IANS)
By Siddhi Jain
The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.
Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.
Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background
'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash
Written for a global audience, the book is targeted at kids between the ages of five and 10, the reason it is embellished with colourful images of families of different types is to appeal to children's sense of sight and drive home the message at the same time. Borthakur believes children are the best place to start because the ages between five and 10 are the most formative, where little ones pick up habits, beliefs and perceptions.
The Guwahati-born author says, "With this book, I'm not trying to take away the job of parents in forming habits, I simply want to do my part as a parent. It is important that we impart the right values in our kids in a bid to build a better, more inclusive and tolerant global society that is fair to everyone." The author's first attempt at a book was an Assamese poetry 'Anubhav', published in 2010.
Set to be published under the label of Author's Channel, the book is like an adventure; a journey into uncharted territories, untouched subjects and matters long ignored. In her words. "The book takes a critical stand in defense of people in society who have had to undergo severe emotional torture for no cause of theirs. It is a terrible conception to think such people any less of a human just for being different," says publisher Aruna Naidu. By September 30, this title, priced at Rs 299, will be available online and in offline bookstores. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Book, children, Guwahati, Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories, moral, story, kids, discrimination, equality
If you feel that clean and well-groomed hands are just an essential prerequisite for women, you might like to think twice. Men should equally pay attention to their hands because our hand houses 1,500 bacteria living on each square centimeter of its skin. You can easily assume what havoc it can create in our body because in India we have the culture of eating with our hands and spaces beneath nails can become breeding heaven for germs. Moreover, clean and maintained hands boost confidence in their daily life activities. Therefore, it's important to keep your hands clean irrespective of your gender by washing or sanitizing at regular intervals. And, to keep them groomed, you don't have to visit a salon.
Rajesh U Pandya, Managing Director, KAI India, gives easy and completely doable tips to follow at home:
* Refrain from harsh soaps: You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. Your soap can have a moisturizing element in it like aloe vera or shea butter. Ensure that you're washing your hands with normal water as hot water can make your hand's skin dry and scaly.
You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. | Photo by Aurélia Dubois on Unsplash
* Clip your nails regularly: Make use of your personal nail clipper to cut your nails. After cutting your nails at a comfortable length also file them using a nail filer. Never share your nail care clipper as the germs can get transferred to your loved ones. Also, don't forget to use grime remover to remove hidden germs in corners and beneath nails. Also, you may like to file your nails to have a smooth finish.
* Good quality Nail Clipper: Do not use a rusted or chromium coated nail clipper as it might be harmful to skin and might cause dangerous bacterial infections.
* Stop the habit of nail chewing: Sometimes anxiety or extreme boredom can lead to chewing of nails. This habit only makes your nails uneven and ugly. Sometimes, our unclean nail folds give rise to viral, bacterial or fungal infections, which in turn can make us sick if we chew our nails.
Make use of your personal nail clipper to cut your nails. | Pixabay
* Exfoliate your hands: Similar to the way you exfoliate your face; your hands also need it. It helps to keep the dry skin at bay and keep your hands soft. You can buy a scrub or make one at home using brown sugar and olive oil. After scrubbing, you need to massage your hands with moisturizer.
Similar to the way you exfoliate your face; your hands also need it. It helps to keep the dry skin at bay and keep your hands soft. | Wikipedia
* Don't use your nails as tools: Always keep in mind that your nails are like jewels. Never use them to pry things open such as pop cans, removing keys from the ring, opening letters, or scraping off labels. This results in unnecessary breakage of nails, making your hands look dirty.
Never use your nails to pry things open such as pop cans, removing keys from the ring, opening letters or scraping off labels. | Photo by Sammy Williams on Unsplash
* Be aware of nail or cuticle inflammation or redness: If there are any signs of infection, disinfect the skin as soon as possible with an anti-bacterial or anti-fungal ointment.
(Article originally written by N.Lothungbeni Humtsoe) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Nails, groom, hand, exfoliate, chew, nail clipper, bite, cuticle
Bitcoin has become an essential crypto asset in modern portfolios and investment funds. The confidence generated in this cryptocurrency will depend a lot on the diversification that companies make in their balance sheets in Bitcoin and the increase of institutional investors that allocate a percentage of their funds in this crypto. American fund manager Cathie Wood makes some interesting predictions, both in the rise that the Bitcoin price will experience in the next 5 years, suggesting these institutional investors allocate 5% of their funds; this will help leverage the Bitcoin market.
Bitcoin will grow by a tenfold
Bitcoin is projected to grow by 10 times its current value in five years, i.e., it could reach $500,000. Of course, this will require companies to invest in cryptocurrencies. This makes it necessary to increase the weight of Bitcoin on balance sheets through investments. One of the investment gurus who supports this prediction is Catherine Wood. Contrarily, Ray Dalio, despite being clear that relying on cash is not a good strategy, views Bitcoin with suspicion, although he calls for its investment. This behavior is due to the actions of governments against the cryptocurrency market.
If something is undoubted is the vertiginous increase that cryptocurrencies have had in general, they have risen more than 60% so far this year. So, even when some governments are trying to regulate cryptocurrencies, they will fail. This attempt to regulate will end up triggering even more cryptos, especially Bitcoin, which is the oldest and most solid of that market.
Bitcoin, is the oldest and most solid of the market. | Photo by Executium on Unsplash
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The current Bitcoin price means is time to buy:
The current price of bitcoin invites you to buy, and perhaps it would be foolhardy not to. In either case, bitcoin will always represent money. Maybe some external factors generate some misgivings, but if you refuse to invest in cryptocurrencies, you are basically denying the near future, it would be as if you didn't have a cell phone or internet.
In India, more and more people are becoming convinced of the benefits of holding some Bitcoin. This can be clearly seen in the rapid increase in the number of new accounts at crypto exchanges such as WazirX and CoinDCX.
ALSO READ: How can you trade in Bitcoin in India?
Bitcoin, despite its fluctuations, represents an excellent financial strategy. The support users give is significant. The same cannot be said of the FIAT currencies, which have lost value and support, showing how fragile they are, being subjected to a constant devaluation. As long as confidence in cryptos grows, the foundations will continue to be laid to maintain their rise and to be able to continue making transactions. We know this by previous experience, as has happened with Ether, thanks mainly to the growing activity of Defi and NFT, i.e. decentralized finance and non-fungible tokens.
Remember that when you invest in Bitcoin, you can do it by buying or trading. When you want to make these transactions do it in a secure Exchange, study your finances to invest, manage the risk, and learn to manage your portfolio efficiently.